Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2016 Issue

Fine Press Books from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller

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Fine Press Books.

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller has published a Short List 2. 27 Fine Press Books. This is a selection of excellent examples from the book arts. The fine press movement did not begin with William Morris and his Kelmscott Press, but Morris raised it to a higher level both in terms of quality and visibility. Since his brief run in the 1890's, it has been a popular collecting field among those focused more on books as art than as a delivery vehicle for text. Many small, private presses followed Kelmscott, new ones created to this day by those who appreciate the workmanship involved in producing books that goes back to Gutenberg's day.

 

Speaking of Mr. Morris and his Kelmscott Press, we begin with what is generally acknowledged as that press' finest work, and the finest of all private press books ever published. It took Morris and his artist, Edward Burne-Jones, four years to complete The Works, by Geoffrey Chaucer, published in 1896. Considering that the Kelmscott Press lasted only five years (excepting the closing down process after Morris died in 1896), that represented a major undertaking. Burne-Jones pushed forward with great dedication creating his 87 illustrations, fearful (correctly) Morris would not survive long enough to see the book published if he did not. A total of 425 copies were printed on paper (plus 14 on vellum) of what is now best known as the Kelmscott Chaucer. It remains today the standard of fine press books. Item 21. $75,500.

 

There is nothing foul about this next book, but there is something very fowl about it. Item 5 comes from Alan James Robinson's Cheloniidae Press, published in 1986: A Fowl Alphabet. This is, naturally enough, an ABC book, with illustrations of birds featured for each letter of the alphabet. Both their common and scientific names are provided. Robinson was an artist, engraver, and printer, and all of his talents come into play with this book. Calligraphic hand-colored lettering was supplied by Suzanne Moore. There were 231 copies printed of this book, including 26 full-vellum lettered copies of which this is one (H). It comes with a suite of 26 signed wood engravings and a signed original watercolor by Robinson. This copy was, appropriately enough, bound by Gray Parrot. Item 5. $3,500.

 

No one is closer associated with the art of papermaking than Dard Hunter. Active during the first half of the 20th century, Hunter focused on papermaking by hand. That is not to say he did no more. Hunter has the remarkable, and perhaps unique accomplishment of performing every aspect of producing a book, from the papermaking to writing, designing, typesetting, printing and binding. However, papermaking was his first interest and he went on several long trips to examine the art in other lands. This book, published in 1939, explores Papermaking by Hand in India. Hunter describes and photographs what he found, but also left with great concern for its future in India. He writes, "Unless government encouragement is forthcoming, which is most unlikely, the handmade paper industry in India will be a thing of the past in ten years." His upset leads him to be a bit more emphatic – "I am wondering if these silent and embittered people would be cheerful and contented if they were suffered to go their own way, free from the political influence of Great Britain and from alien religious influence." They did, within that ten year span, go their own way, but I have no idea whether that saved the handmade paper industry in India. Item 19. $1,250.

 

Whether papermaking by hand survived in India, it did survive in the old country. We know that from this 1972 book by Geoffrey Wakeman: English Hand Made Papers Suitable for Bookwork. This folio book contains 76 leaves, employing 24 different handmade papers. The introduction explains, "This book sets out to provide a record of all the book papers being made by hand in England which are readily available for sale, up to a maximum size of 30 x 20 inches..." This book is uncommon, having only been printed in 75 copies. Item 24. $1,250.

 

This next book describes another niche in the book field, one that produces beautiful patterns on paper: Marbling at the Heyeck Press, by Robin Heyeck, published in 1986. The Heyeck Press is a private press that for 30 years has featured marbled papers. Marbling is the process whereby water is used to help spread ink in spectacular and unique patterns. This book describes the process and the factors that result in success or failure. It includes some samples with flaws as a guide. Item 17. $1,650.

 

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller may be reached at 415-986-5826 or john@johnwindle.com. Their website is www.johnwindle.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750

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